FIS logo
Presented by

'Full gas all the way': Brignone completes the weekend double

Dec 03, 2023·Alpine Skiing
Brignone all smile xxx @Agence Zoom

With the snowfall getting heavier, visibility getting worse and strong winds battering the control gates up and down the Flying Mile course in Tremblant, Federica Brignone (ITA) had only one thing on her mind.

"Full gas all the way," the Italian said after she came from behind to complete the weekend giant slalom double in the Canadian resort on Sunday, finishing ahead of Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI, +0.33s) and Mikaela Shiffrin (USA, +0.39s).

Brignone seemed out of contention after she finished the first run in sixth position, more than a second behind leader Petra Vlhova (SVK), but she mastered the challenging conditions with a brilliant attacking ski in the afternoon session.

"It was really difficult in the second run," Brignone said. "I tried to go all-in, and I knew the conditions were really tough, because we couldn't see, it was snowing, it was windy.

"But normally in these conditions I'm good. My brother said to me before the second run, 'OK, we are ready, we have been training like this for a month now.'"

A day after becoming the oldest woman to win a giant slalom race on tour at age 33, Brignone set another record by becoming the first Italian woman to win 23 World Cup races, breaking a tie with teammate Sofia Goggia (ITA).

Federica Brignone (ITA) mastered the conditions on Sunday for her second win in a row
Federica Brignone (ITA) mastered the conditions on Sunday for her second win in a row

That result seemed unlikely after Brignone was one of a number of top skiers, including teammate Marta Bassino (ITA) and local favourite Valerie Grenier (CAN), to be caught out on a tricky series of gates in the lower-middle section of the first run that seemed to put paid to her chances.

"I couldn't believe it today after the first run, I had this big mistake," Brignone said.

But her "all or nothing" approach to the second run gave her the clubhouse lead, and one by one, the world's best giant slalom skiers lost time all the way down the course and were unable to match her.

A post shared by Audi FIS Ski World Cup (@fisalpine)

Gut-Behrami had perhaps the worst of the wind conditions in the second run but fought hard to finish second and retain the lead in the race for the giant slalom crystal globe, five points ahead of Brignone.

Shiffrin also battled to make her fifth consecutive podium in all disciplines.

"I could not see anything," Shiffrin admitted. "But actually it was still fun to ski in a way, sometimes a little bit wild. Tough conditions but a good fight."

Clara Direz (FRA) came fourth to record the best giant slalom result of her career
Clara Direz (FRA) came fourth to record the best giant slalom result of her career

Vlhova struggled in the difficult conditions as the last skier on the mountain and finished fifth behind Clara Direz (FRA), who moved up from 13th after the first run to finish fourth and almost make her first World Cup podium in a traditional discipline.

Direz had the second fastest time in the second run, behind only the evergreen Brignone, who has flirted with retirement in recent years but is continuing to show her best form well into her 30s.

"You have to learn every day, you have to learn run after run, and that's the secret to be always at the top," the Italian veteran said.

Click here for the full results from Sunday's race.